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Dear Mom,

You’ve been my #1 fan my whole life.

You were my fan even before I was born, even while I was making you so sick. I brought you misery for nine solid months but you’ve never held it against me, and have only made me feel like I was somehow worth all that agony.

You founded and presided over my fan club. You preside over it still.

You are the fan who always believes in me even when I doubt myself.

You are the fan who always thinks the best of me, even when I think the worst of myself.

You are the fan who’s always sure I can do something even when I’m sure I can’t.

You are the fan who sees in my grown-up self the same kind of hope and possibility you saw when I was a newborn in your arms.

You are the fan who always wants to hear from me when anything—good, bad, or otherwise—happens.

You are the fan who sees what I love and wants it for me.

You are the fan who says, “I never get to see you!” even though you saw me less than a week ago.

You are the fan who always has a collection going for me: magazine articles you think I’d like to read, coupons you won’t use but think I might, the last little bit of a jar of honey you threw in after I casually mentioned I was running low on it.

You are the fan I know I can share good but possibly braggy-sounding news with . . . the fan who never thinks I’m actually bragging but only telling you something you want to know about, down to the last detail.

You are the fan who celebrates the most minor of accomplishments or victories with me.

You are the fan who puts me on speaker when I call “so your father can hear, too” as if I’m about to deliver a Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech instead of a recitation of our family’s weekly schedule.

You are the fan who tells me I’m an amazing mom even when I feel like the worst mom in the world.

You are the fan who “loves” and comments on all my online posts . . . and then messages me to ask for the whole backstory on them.

You are the fan who always thinks I’m the best person for the job . . . but who also tells me I don’t always have to be the person to do the job.

You are the fan who brags about me to your friends when you’re all swapping “let me tell you about my adult child” stories.

You are the fan who looks out for me and still gets riled up when you think someone is messing with your baby.

You are the fan who has my back.

You are the fan who is on my side and in my corner.

You are the fan who will tell anyone who will listen, “That’s my daughter.”

You are my fan whether I’m winning or losing. Your loyalty to me isn’t based on what I do—it’s based on who I am to you.

If you had a motto as my #1 fan, it would be this message you sent me the other day: “Fully behind you and cheering you on.”

You’ll say, of course, that this is what moms do, but the truth is not all moms do this. There are moms reading this who wish they’d had a fan like you in their own mothers. There are moms reading this who are trying to be a fan like you to their own children.

I know I’ll never be able to thank you enough for being my biggest fan. But I’ll start here: I’ll do what you did. I’ll do what you’re still doing. I’ll be your grandchildren’s biggest fan for life. I’ll cheer for them. I’ll believe in them. I’ll think the best of them. I’ll see what’s possible for them.

And I’ll remain, always and with love, one of your biggest fans.

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Elizabeth Spencer

Elizabeth Spencer is mom to two daughters (one teen and one young adult) who regularly dispense love, affection, and brutally honest fashion advice. She writes about faith, food, and family (with some occasional funny thrown in) at Guilty Chocoholic Mama and avoids working on her 100-year-old farmhouse by spending time on Facebook and Twitter.

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